February 28, 2006
Why Vista Won't Suck.... So Says ExtremeTech Why Windows Vista Won't Suck over at ExtremeTech. A couple of thoughts.

The second point is the automatic disk defragmenter (second screenshot). Uhmmmm.... wasn't this a feature in Windows 98? Wasn't this removed in Windows XP for some strange reason? Hasn't MacOS been doing this truely automatically for 5 years now (OS/X automatically defrags files under 20mb just through general use of the system, whereas Windows requires you to say "defrag my disk").

"Sleep mode" - basically they are using the instant off/on that OS/X laptops have had for 5 years now on desktops, which is cool. Basically a less sucky 'hibernate'.

Improved networking stack, very nice, of course, you only get benefits connecting to other Vista machines. Go figure. Anyone want to bet if a) the new stack is open and b) if it is, and were implemented on *unix, the benefits wouldn't work? </cynic>

I'm sure it'll be nice for those moving files around at lan parties or in the local network though.

Media center... *yawn*

On page 3 I find that your audio drivers won't BSOD you anymore. Uhmm.... "yay". Built in speech recognition just like OS/X (and possibly before). Per-application audio control, been there, done that.

Better built in mail (outlook express finally overhauled!), good, hopefully this will be less of a virus magnet than the current iteration. Built in calendar app, photo viewer app, good to see. What I've seen of media player 11 it's less ugly now. Course, I wonder if it'll still have the same stupid UI issues it has now (ie: the hidden window frame that even though it can't be seen it still has an effect on the window).

The new Aero engine looks sexy, but I'm going to guess by the time that Vista is out technologies like XGL will be out and "standard" on the Linux desktop. I personally set up the latest Ubuntu with XGL and wow, very sexy. The screenshots of the new Vista UI does look quite nice though. It will be a delicate balance of "looks good" and "eyecandy overload".

Sidebar? *yawn*.

Better security - Yay!

Those are my thoughts anyway.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:20 PM
February 27, 2006
Project Origami Video? So is this YouTube post of Microsoft Project origami for real? Looks like a legit ad that someone managed to capture before it was taken down (link via digg. I've got two trains of thought on this:
  • Big F'n Deal - a smaller tablet with a flashy add to no doubt boost tablet PC sales (which we haven't heard a heck of a lot about lately). Note the accessories you need to make it useful (ie: the wonky looking keyboard setup).
  • Potentially cool.... they look like they have combined something like a PSP and a tablet with all the built in things like wireless networking, bluetooth, GPS, USB, etc etc. No evidence of bluetooth of course, but one can imagine.
      Of course, there are some issues. First of all, they appear to have magically solved the the problems of using laptops / LCD screens outdoors, or is it just bit in the video that should be titled "does not represent real usage". To anyone who has done work in the sun outdoors knows that the first part of the video is total BS. Also the video implies (but doesn't say right out) that WiFi is ubiquitous and you can hook into mapquest from anywhere without looking into a network to get mapping directions. The reality might be a built in GPS (or add on GPS unit) against a static map or something. Who knows.

      I guess we get confirmation early next month.

      Posted by Arcterex at 01:13 PM
MS IPod Video My buddy Dana pointed me to a great Microsoft IPod packaging parody video. So funny and yet so plausible....
Posted by Arcterex at 10:40 AM
February 23, 2006
The Daily Kitten Can't get enough cuteness in your day? Head to The Daily Kitten.
Posted by Arcterex at 02:21 PM
February 22, 2006
More Linux Desktop Eye Candy From a slashdot story onFedora's OpenGL Composite Desktop there is a link to an XGL video demo from Novell, showing some of the sexy effects available using some of the new compositing technology that is starting to come into it's own.

All I can really say is "holy shit" and "I want this now". Wonder how long before this is included in the mainline GNOME release and standard distros.

Did I mention "wow"?

Posted by Arcterex at 11:28 AM
February 21, 2006
Tagging Makes it to File Browsers Well, a file browser anyway. ChipBlog points to an implementation of tagging built right into the GNOME nautilus file browser. Not exactly revolutionary, but definately evolutionary, and an interesting way to address dealing with files and searching in the desktop.

/me waits for this feature to be announced for vista for 200567

Update - It's been pointed out to me that tagging of sorts is in Vista's feature list already, I remember that now. It's almost true I am a grass roots yuppie vista hater, and I'm also strong enough to admit when I'm wrong :) However that said I don't think that the tagging in vista will be quite that sweet and easy. I can't find any screenshots of tagging in vista, other than this shot which has the "keywords" at the bottom of the bottom window. There's also a google hit on this page which talks about security concerns with metadata. Anyone have better references?

That said, the person who pointed out I was a yuppie also noted that leaftag through nautilus wasn't released either (however, with the 6 month GNOME relesae cycle, I have faith that that'll be out before Vista.... ).

Posted by Arcterex at 11:10 PM
Scanner Darkly Trailer Very cool movie trailer for A Scanner Darkly, a movie with a trippy cartoon/live action look to it (no, not talking Roger Rabbit here). Looks pretty funky and sci-fi-ish as well.
Posted by Arcterex at 03:54 PM
February 20, 2006
Denyhosts Tutorial HowtoForge has a nice tutorial on Preventing SSH Dictionary Attacks With DenyHosts. This is the program I installed last week on UFies and it seems to be working just fine. So far I have 37 IPs blocked, and my SSH attempts are down to under 100 to over 20,000 per day :)
Posted by Arcterex at 10:39 AM
February 17, 2006
GNOME 2.14 Preview There is a nice screenshot filled Look at GNOME 2.14 found via Digg. Looks like a few major features (lockdown editor, nautilus/beagle integration, etc) but mostly polish and some great looking performance improvements. It's nice to see how many speed / memory and performance improvements can be made and that resource use can actually go down with newer releases. Microsoft, take note :)
Posted by Arcterex at 09:05 AM
February 14, 2006
Images and Photoshops Couple of random bits for you in image form. First of all, check out this unique approach to get sex. This is even more inventive than the "will work for sex" t-shirts. Secondly is the Worth1000 Canadian global dominance photoshop contest. Somehow this map brings a glow to my heart :) Go Canada (eh?)!
Posted by Arcterex at 11:31 AM
February 13, 2006
DenyHosts Implemented on UFies Hey there guys.... I've implemented DenyHosts on UFies. Basically this is a way to prevent the sometimes more than 20,000 ssh login attempts per-day that I get over here. The system basically adds users to hosts.deny if they get failed attempts either through invalid usernames, or invalid passwords, and expires them after a certain number of days. I got a line on this from some buddies after I posted an alternative solution with iptables. Let me know if you have any issues. If you have really bad fingers and can't log in after more than a couple of attempts, well, might be time to use ssh keys :)
Posted by Arcterex at 10:10 AM
February 09, 2006
Another Get the Facts Page This is something I've been meaning to put together for a while, looks like these guys beat me to it. Get the facts - The real ones is an attempt to dispute the "facts" on Microsoft's "Get the Facts" campaign. Sadly OS choice is a religious thing, and people are generally pretty dug in for their OS of choice, and will bring in whatever surveys or annecdotes that support their side of the story... it's human nature though, we all do it (IMHO).
Posted by Arcterex at 02:42 PM
Email Tips 43 Folder has some nice tips on how to Become an Email Ninja, with pointers and links to advice on how to your email better faster and cheaper :)
Posted by Arcterex at 10:31 AM
Snail Data Transfer Not quite Snail "mail"... however, Ami Ben-Bassat has a nice post on an experiment with snail data transfer.
System architecture: the system is constructed of a back end - a carriage, Ben-Hur movie style, which is made of a yoke made of light Balsa, and outfitted with two huge wheels - 2 DVD wheels, 4.7 Giga each. The front end, to which the carriage is harnessed consist of a Giant snail (Achatina fulica), known also as Giant African Snail (Africans are known as the world fastest runners ).
Conclusion.... data transfer via snail is faster than ADSL :)
Posted by Arcterex at 09:22 AM
February 08, 2006
Worst Weatherman Ever Tig threw me a link to this flash video of the worst weatherman ever, quite possibly the most painful thing I've ever heard. Something to watch the next time you think you are bad at your job, you can't be worse than this guy.
Posted by Arcterex at 12:40 PM
February 06, 2006
Superbowl Commercials If you haven't seen them yet, google has a special page up for the Super Bowl XL Commercials. Of particulare note is the godaddy one, not for their service, but instead because it required 14 different edits to make it on the air. Man, the FCC and the scared ass broadcasters are just crazy!
Posted by Arcterex at 02:01 PM
Sexy GNOME Mockups Desplesda.com has some sexy gnome mockups of potential future directions for gnome to go. Some nifty new concepts in there...
Posted by Arcterex at 11:27 AM